February 08, 2005


The rate of inflation in Bangladesh has galloped forward from under 2 in 2001 to above 6 in the recent year.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

The effect of this is evident in the growing number of beggars, who are migrating from village to urban areas. In Bangladeshi culture, there is a tradition of giving alms to the beggars by the well-offs. Many poor people (slackers I guess) tend to capitalize on this by taking begging as a profession. Almost 3% of the workforce are engaged in this profession officially. But many farmers become beggars in their lean cultivation period as there are not enough manufacturing industries to engage them. It is a dishonorable profession which breaks one's morale and self respect. Some of the NGOs have tried to do something for the beggers with programs like these. However, these are no solution to the growing number of beggers in the country where only creation of mass jobs through industrialization can change things.

Almost 40% of the population of Bangladesh live below poverty line. The power struggle of the major political parties has hindered the industrialization of the country for many years by detering foreign investment. The party activities mostly represent the remaining 60% lead by the rich businessmen leaders (representing the rich 10%). The usual good citizen remain complacent, happy in the knowledge that these events are well-circumscribed within the democratic world, where class struggle is absent. Because in the event of general strikes (hartal), the lower middle class and above do not lose much, but the poor day laborers do not get his daily earning and may starve for a period. Now where is the mutiny, where is the revolution against all these repression? The politicians (ruling or opposition) turn social crisis in their favor by following the directions of any movement. The real issues get shadowed by new confrontations; ruling party against opposition, left against right, extremist vs. secularist. Everybody is admonishing the other and nobody tries to think together in national issues.

Where will it end? Will we see a revolution when these have-nots will rise and ask for their fair share of our little prosperities? Will we see them rise and ask the leaders for accountability of their actions and corruptions? You can fool some people some time but you cannot deceive many people for a long time. And will the so called good citizen again turn over and go back to sleep? Only time will tell.


Post a Comment